Lebanon's Hezbollah says 2 fighters killed in Israeli attacks

AFP , Sunday 24 Mar 2024

Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement on Sunday announced the death of two of its fighters in attacks by Israel, accusing the country of trying to expand its strikes.

Lebanese soldiers
Lebanese soldiers cordon off the site of a strike in Suwairi, eastern Lebanon -- a security source blamed the strike on Israeli aircraft and said the Syrian driver was killed. AFP


The accusation came after security sources reported two Israeli air raids deep inside Lebanon, in the country's east.

Israel and Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group allied to Hamas, have been exchanging cross-border fire almost daily since the Gaza war began last October.

But fears have surged of an all-out conflict in recent weeks with Israel launching air strikes deeper into eastern Lebanon, targeting Hezbollah strongholds in the Bekaa Valley area several times.

"Today the enemy is trying to expand its attacks against civilians in Baalbek, in the western Bekaa or elsewhere," Hezbollah's deputy chief Naim Qassem said Sunday.

"There will be responses to each of them."

Hezbollah did not say where its two fighters died or give other details but said they "died as martyrs" in Israeli attacks.

Earlier Sunday an Israeli strike on a car near the Syrian border killed a man, a security source said, after overnight fire also in Lebanon's east wounded four people, a second security official said.

"Israeli aircraft targeted a vehicle in... Suwairi, killing its Syrian driver," the security source told AFP, requesting anonymity because of security concerns.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency (NNA) said the driver killed by the strike had been delivering food in a car that belonged to a supermarket owner.

Images from the scene showed a blue vehicle shredded and burned, with a streak of blood on the ground nearby.

Overnight Saturday, Israeli jets struck a Hezbollah center that had been deserted for some time in the Baalbek area, the second security source told AFP, adding four people were wounded.

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